Melanie Fiona picked the first warm New York night of the year to showcase her eagerly anticipated sophomore set, ‘The MF Life’.
That Grape Juice were on hand at the exclusive listening event.
Find out what Ms. Fiona will be serving up this go round. Trust us, you’ll want multiple helpings.
Upon hearing the album, it’s clear the project draws on a variety of influences and references. Indeed, present on the set are shades of the Ronettes and Whitney Houston, as well as Fiona’s Guyanese roots.
Skillfully sequenced, the set begins with heartbreak, slowly moving past the pain, to empowerment, fun, and finally love.
Check out our track-by-track preview below, which also spotlights the album’s all-star features.
This Time (Feat. J. Cole)- An optimistic track to raise the spirits of any heart on the mend. ‘This Time’ leaves anger at the door, embracing positivity and passion instead. Possibly the best part of ‘This Time’ is J. Cole’s rap; changing the pace of the song and building it up to rapturous climax. There’s no wonder this has been tapped as the project’s next single.
4 AM- A tale of heartache and longing, the slow-burning number sees Melanie expose her more vulnerable side with – both vocally and lyrically. Be careful, as this song will probably make you start thinking about the people you miss. You have been warned.
Break Down These Walls- A song about the trials and tribulations of trying to make a connection with someone while you’re both having trouble breaking down the walls you have put up. It’s slow, with powerful vocals and a surprisingly fitting guitar solo.
I Been That Girl- This Drake-produced track only needs one word…empowerment. Fiona’s conviction is potently relayed as she belts, “I been that girl” / “never again”
Wrong Side Of A Love Song- Melanie called this song “pensive” and “thinking about how did I get here”. This track has especially strong vocals with a vintage flavor. In this backwards love ballad, you can hear the heartache mixed in with the happiness.
Running (Feat. Nas)- This track is another one of the album’s old school experiences, courtesy of Amy Winehouse producer Salaam Remi. You’ll recognize Salaam’s influence on the song with its strong bass line and uplifting melodies. ‘Running’ relays a narrative of perseverance. Fiona asserts that she will not get knocked down; and even though she’s tired she won’t stop. Ladies, get familiar with the line “and you wonder why I’m so damn tired all the time”.
Change The Record (Feat. B.o.B)- A super optimistic track, ‘Change The Record’ is the kind of self-respect mid-tempo that more young artists should strive for. The B.o.B-assisted cut borrows his “sound”, while meshing well with the album’s varied, yet sound.
Gone And Never Coming Back- Have you been broken up with recently? Well, put this on blast! ‘Gone’ begins quietly, building like Lego into quite the grand presentation. Emotion-filled.
Bones- Two words: sultry and sexy. Melanie is showing us the va-va-voom we always knew she had in her. Possibly the most delightfully surprising cut on the record. Indeed, the line “I need your bones” will definitely put a mischievous grin on the face of many. A slow jam, which fuses the old and new seamlessly. Think ‘Fever’.
Watch Me Work- A fun, infectious cut, which boasts hook a plenty; the song sees Fiona declare “watch me do something different”. And “different” this is. The type of “different” which underlines Fiona’s versatility.
Can’t Say I Never Loved You- ‘The MF Life’ is arrives at the end of March, a time when the lion turns into the lamb. A time when we all take our sandals out for that first stroll in public. A time when summer jams first start to peek out like a groundhog looking for his shadow. This here is one of the year’s first bonafide summer jams. Warm, flavour-filled, and of course featuring Fiona’s trademark vocals, this is yet another winner.
L.O.V.E. (Feat John Legend)- Dripping positivity, ‘L.O.V.E’ almost sounds like it should have been included on the soundtrack of ‘Love, Actually’. Fiona and Legend’s vocals mesh wonderfully, with their lush harmonies rendering the track a stand-out,.
Bonus tracks? Don’t mind if we do! At the listening party we saw Melanie get totally excited when ‘What Am I To Do’ came on, which is a good indicator that this is one of her favorite songs on the album. Adding one final twist to ‘The MF Life’, the song ‘Like I Love You’ ends the bonus tracks chapter on a Caribbean-tinged note.
And there you have it, folks!
Keen for a taste of ‘The MF Life’? The album hits stores on March 20th via Universal Republic.